“Artist Tips from the Trenches” – Shawshank Shakespeare
I reached out to Shawshank Shakespeare and asked if he could share more about your journey or any motivational tips on how he got to where he is. Below, is his unedited response.
Where do I begin? It honestly started with poetry and as a child I’ve always written short stories and showed a interest in creative writing and the english literature. I never really thought much about my writing I always wanted to work with electronics when I grew up, it was my pain that really caused me to write and I’ve written over 1000 verses in my life.. what you are hearing is only a fraction .. because majority of my work is still under raps. I would also recommend aligning all your chakras to get the best flow.. and also practice my friend people don’t stress that any more.. I been writing everyday since 15 years old.. granted there were times I’ve struggled with drug addiction and stopped completely but composing music is something that never leaves my mind.. I always HAVE to come back to it eventually. It’s because you have to fall in love with hip hop. Rappers nowadays don’t make contributions, they make additions. (Mixtapes etc) we don’t need re-chewed up opinions we need to break new ground with hip hop. With the rhymes, with the beats. We have to form the true underground community, the real one, and start building ourselves til the underground sound starts influences the mainstream and we penetrate pop culture and that’s when we can start changing the world. Because even Michelle Obama is influenced by what Beyonce does or how she acts, it’s a mutual fellow human respect, because in a way we all seek in each other for guidance.. And I’m saying there’s a influence that goes both ways. So over all a lot of rappers when they start writing they picture the crowd of people they are rapping to and they try to impress them. When I write I imagine I am in front of God, or maybe the whole world. And tell them my situation without lying, without holding prejudiced. Because a lot of young rappers aren’t checking in with the old school heads to see their opinion on the game at this current time and how much they matured they don’t wanna hear that. But that’s exactly what I’m representin’. You have to have a REAL REAL foundation, to your soul not just one that limits you to the stigma of ” The Hood” you yourself have to be the one to advance this game if you LOVE it otherwise you are watching your people burn. It’s most likely true the real niggaz have been killed off so that these mainstream mothafuckaz can brainwash us.. But truthfully the last seed of the truth , there is none.
Friends can be a huge set back at times, your critics are your best motivators, but don’t let critics penetrate your sound too much. You have to do what’s real to not just yourself, but the world.. you have to teach yourself. I use my raps as a self reference for growth. So I don’t forget my lessons taught in life but I do it in a subtle way. Hence why it is called immortality you never age because your essence is instilled within the music and you can manifest that.
To even begin with Rap in this modern time if we don’t treat it like a war we ain’t ever gonna get to the level of credit as Kendrick & Jcole and personally I don’t hate on anyone but if you ask me who I bump on a daily basis it’s PAC, G RAP, SCARFACE, CORMEGA ETC ETC ETC because they were overall born in a time which is has a standard of realness which has been lowered so there’s no way we can be compared to that time.. the whole electricity in the air was different.. but I feel like I’m the reincarnation of all that. I have to set the fire back to our paths before we all burn. We must turn back because this rap is getting hazardous and it’s disintegrating.. people will lose interest I can feel it.
& me personally I love hip hop way to much to ever let it go.. the pen , the pad and a mic has been my only friend I been bullied most my life, I been called a freak most my life, so I seen that dark side of people then I seen the same people turn around and show me love years after when I’m older and “smarter”, got some cash in my pockets. & I’m not blind, don’t ever try to fit in, we try to fit in to a certain persons liking but what people fail to understand that they are doing the same.. it’s a big insecurity.. be a leader. a spiritual leader, but to do that you must first set on a journey to seek self my friend, and that might sound selfish but let me reassure you that it is far from it to rid your guilt. It is THE most important thing for you to do in this life before you can help your family, your friends, your damn cat. You must awaken your third eye. Otherwise you are blindly guiding them into a deeper hole where you are going in with them.
So if you truly love your people or humans or your family give them the knowledge they need to set them free from their mental chains.. Because it is the very energy of the song itself being made sometimes that reaches them.
It’s all about your intention of the song.. if it is pure or not. And never give negative energies to other rappers unless you feel like they are testing you. Always help out your fellow rapper to be better. Always show your fellow human that they need to change for the better and you don’t have all the answers but you are here to grow together!!! We are magnetic forces of the universe, we are a reflection of ourselves, we are all one. So once we stop mistreating OURSELVES, mistreating GOD (Or the UNIVERSE) & then EACH OTHER. We can all find Enlightenment & then Nirvana. My purposes for rap is far from money, that’s why as well.
I want to thank Shawshank Shakespeare for responding and be sure to check out his pages. Links are below. If you want more posts like this, or thought this was helpful, don’t forget to like and share. Thank you. – JustDreamz